Blog Entry

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

Posted on: February 25, 2011 1:50 pm

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With ace Johan Santana not expected to be ready to roll until at least June, the Mets are going to have to get awfully creative behind Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese and veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to hang around in a beastly NL East.

Awfully lucky, too.

It could start with the return to form of a couple of former All-Stars.

Right-hander Chris Young and lefty Chris Capuano are here, both are on the comeback trail and both say they physically feel the best they've felt in years.

Whether that translates into full and productive seasons in the rotation remains to be seen.

But, as first-year general manager Sandy Alderson says, "So far, so good. They've both thrown a number of sides, they’ve thrown live batting practice, they've kept on the same rotation as everyone else."

Young, an All-Star in 2007, missed nearly all of last year following setbacks after he underwent shoulder surgery in August, 2009. After starting a game on April 6, Young did not reappear until mid-September.

So far, he's thrilled with where he's at.

"My arm strength is better and my breaking stuff is sharper," Young said. "My life on the ball has been good.

"I'm very, very happy with my progress. It was great to spend the off-season working on pitching instead of rehabbing."

Capuano, an All-Star in 2006, is nearly 18 months past his second Tommy John ligament transfer surgery. Though he made 24 appearances for Milwaukee last year, he started just nine times.

"Last year was the year I came back from injury," Capuano said. "I pitched a full season with no setbacks. This is not a coming-off-of-injury year for me. That was last year."

Capuano underwent his second Tommy John surgery in May, 2008.

"I'm still primarily a fastball, breaking ball, changeup pitcher," said the former Duke University pitcher. "I try to throw all of my pitches to both sides of the plate, in any count, and not be predictable."

He should fit right in with the Mets, given the utterly unpredictable nature of their rotation. Dickey came out of nowhere last year to go 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA in 174 1/3 innings pitched.

Oliver Perez, meanwhile, is still hanging around the clubhouse, entering the final season of a three-year, $36 million deal, and appears to have as much chance of pitching in the Mets' rotation as Mayor Bloomberg.

While Young and Capuano work on returning to form, there are other candidates floating around for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots: Rookie Dillon Gee, the organization's top prospect who impressed last September, D.J. Carrasco and Pat Misch, to name three.

Young and Capuano have earned the most stripes. Young is 48-34 over seven big-league seasons and Capuano is 46-52 over six years.

"Those are performance guys," Alderson says. "They're not going to light up a [radar] gun, but they've done it [successfully pitched in the majors].

"They're All-Star-caliber players, and if they're healthy, we may be the beneficiaries."

Sunblock Day? Definitely, continuing a perfect streak since mid-February. Sun, 80s ... just like you'd draw it up for spring training. Only change is, there's a lot more wind today.

Likes: Joe Torre as an executive vice-president in the Commissioner's Office in charge of on-field matters. Him, Bobby Cox, Lou Piniella ... these are people who should remain involved in the game. ... Being able to catch the final launch of the space shuttle Discovery from some 150 miles south through my hotel room window. Even from far away, you could clearly see the bright orange fire in the sky launching the rocket into space. Positively breathtaking. ... Late-night Seinfeld reruns while winding down after a long day of work. They're still the perfect tonic. Last night's episode was the one where Elaine was dating a guy obsessed with the Eagles' Desperado. Classic. ... Funny, after seeing Seinfeld for the first time in a long time last night, I rounded a corner today at the Mets' complex and there was Keith Hernandez, sitting on some steps while talking on the cell phone. Wonder if the Hernandez episode is the one that will be on tonight? ... The Oscars this Sunday night. Always look forward to them. I've seen seven of the 10 best-picture nominees. Really liked The King's Speech, The Social Network, Winter's Bone, The Kids Are Alright, True Grit and The Fighter. You can have Inception.

Dislikes: Adam Wainwright is a fabulous pitcher and a class act. I hope his surgery goes smoothly. ... The fried chicken smell dominating the elevator and the hallway in my hotel much of yesterday afternoon and evening. It was like Colonel Sanders had the room down the hall. ...

Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?
"The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine
"It's hard to tell the night time from the day
"You're losin' all your highs and lows
"Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?"

-- The Eagles, Desperado



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: February 26, 2011 12:44 pm

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

First of all, no one is a better writer or fairer on this site than Scott Miller. He's also the classiest writer in the business hands down.

Now in terms of Young and Capuano...

I really liked both signings, especially the signing of Young. Chris Young if healthy, is actually a legitimate #2 and would be the best pitcher on the Mets staff. As of now, he's their #4 and I'm happy as heck with that. His health is everything. If he can start 30 games this year while continuing to build back strength he could be a steal. The guy can flat-out pitch and imo can be a huge help to Pelfrey who is also a tall drinkof-water. Young so far looks good. Hopefully, he'll stay healthy.

Capuano pitched okay last year and as the #5 would also be solid if he can stay healthy. At worst, he'll be a spot starter and long reliever when Santana returns(I believe July @ the earliest). He may even stay in the roation, if the Mets decide to go to a 6-man rotation temporarily until Santana feels comfortable and/or gets his pitch count up.

Both of these pitchers are also unfailingly bright ppl and that will help in the dugout. They are hard workers and were both all-stars. They also come fairly cheap and have big upsides. Unlike last year when the Mets signed a stiff like Escobar who was hurt and guaranteed 1.25 million, Alderson made good choices that hopefully will pay off.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: February 26, 2011 12:54 am

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

It was Witchy Woman by the Eagles.

Since: Dec 17, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2011 7:10 pm

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

My guess is Young and Capuano will pitch well and then half way through the season the Mets lose more money in another scandal and both pitchers have to leave the team because they can't afford them.

Since: Mar 13, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2011 3:25 pm

Mets look to former All-Stars for rotation help

Thank you, I'll TAKE Inception. Definitely the best movie of the year. It was like playing 3D Chess!!!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or